Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dyslexia: 'My three sons and their music'

Three brothers with dyslexia have overcome their struggles with reading music to be chosen to play in the National Schools Symphony Orchestra.

"I shudder to think what it would have been like without music," says Sasha Baldwin, mother to three teenage sons who are all dyslexic.

Luke, 17, plays the violin and guitar. Patrick, 15, plays the piano, organ and trumpet while Robert, 14, is a gifted French horn player. They all sing too.

Yet at primary school they struggled from early on as dyslexia manifested itself in different ways in each of them.

"Luke had difficulties learning how to read, Patrick had problems with short-term memory and couldn't remember instructions from school or telephone numbers and Robert had real problems with personal organisation and retaining information, as well as reading," Sasha says.

The North Yorkshire school they attended recognised their learning difficulties and enlisted the help of educational psychologists to support them.

But Sasha, who now lives in Perthshire, realised that music could provide a valuable outlet for their development and she encouraged the boys to start learning the piano aged five.

Although they were enthusiastic, they all had issues with reading music.

"Robert had to give up the piano after a year as he couldn't read two lines of music simultaneously and became very frustrated," Sasha says.

Read more of Sasha's story here

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